Skip to main content

Full text of "Despatch from His Majesty's ambassador at Constantinople summarising events leading up to rupture of relations with Turkey, and reply thereto"

See other formats


MISCELLANEOUS. No. 14 (1914). 







[In continuation of " MisceUaneons, No. 13 (1914) " : Cd. 7628.] 

Presented, to both Houses of Parliament hy Command of His Majesty. 

December 1914. 



By HAERISON and SONS, 45-47, St. Martin's Lane, W.C, 

Printers in Ordinary to His Majesty. 

To be purchased, either directly or through any Bookseller, from 

WYMAN and sons, Ltd., 29, Breams Buildings, Fetter Lane, E.G., and 

28, Abingdon Street, S.W., and 54, St. Mary Street, Cardiff; or 

H.M. STATIONEEY OFFICE (Scottish Branch), 23, Forth Street, Edinburgh; or 

E. PONSONBY, Ltd., 116, Grafton Street, Dublin; 

or from the Agencies in the British Colonies and Dependencies, 

the United States of America, the Continent of Europe and Abroad of 

T. FISHEE UN win, London, W.C. 


[Cd. 7716.] Price 1^. 

Despatch from His Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople 
summarising Events leading up to Rupture of Relations 
with Turkey, and Reply thereto. . 

[In continuation of " MisceUaneous, No. 13 (1914) " : Cd. 7628.] 

Sir, London, November 20, 1914. 

I HAVE the honour to report on the circumstances which preceded and 
accompanied my departure from Constantinople on the 1st November. 

On my return to my post on the 16th August, a fortnight after the outbreak of the 
European war, the situation was already such as to give ground for the apprehension that 
Turkey would be driven by Germany sooner or later to take part in it as her ally. The 
Ottoman arm}', under the supreme command of Enver Pasha, who was entirely in 
German hands, had been mobilised, and although the Government had declared 
their intention of preserving their neutrality, they had taken no proper steps to 
ensure its maintenance. They had, on the contrary, jeopardised their ability to 
do so by the admission of the German warships "Goeben" and "Breslau" 
into the Dardanelles on the 10th August. Events have confirmed what I and my 
French and Russian colleagues constantly impressed upon the Grand Vizier and other 
Ministers at the time, that so long as the German admiral and crews remained on board 
the German warships, the German Government were masters of the situation, and were 
in a position to force the hand of the Turkish Government if at any given moment it 
suited them to do so. 

So far as the Grand Vizier was concerned, the warning fell upon deaf ears, and it 
was at no time possible to persuade his Highness to admit that he would not be able to 
control developments to which he was himself opposed and which had not the approval 
of the whole Government. It is quite possible that he was sincere in this conviction, 
but he was fully alive to the precarious nature of his own position and to the fact 
that any real attempt on his part to run counter to the policy of Enver Pasha and the 
military authorities woidd have meant his elimination. This event would have brought 
matters to a head at once, which would have been contrary to the policy of the allied 
Powers of postponing for as long as possible, if they were unable to avert altogether, 
the intervention of Turkey in the war, with the vast and complicated issues involved 
in the raising of the Eastern question, so that my role and that of my French and 
Russian colleagues, with whom I acted in complete accord throughout, was necessarily 
restricted to one of remonstrance and to an endeavour to expose and defeat the German 

In pursuance of a long-prepared policy, the greatest pressure was at once exercised 
by Germany to force Turkey into hostilities. German success in the European war 
was said to be assured. The perpetual menace to Turkey from Russia might, it 
was suggested, be averted by a timely alliance with Germany and Austria. Egypt 
might be recovered for the Empire. India and other Moslem countries represented 
as groaning under Christian rule might be kindled into a flame of infinite possibilities 
for the Caliphate of Constantinople. Turkey would emerge from the war the one 
great Power of the East, even as Germany would be tlie one great Power of the West. 
Such was the substance of German misrepresentations. It is a matter of common 
consent that Enver Pasha, dominated by a quasi-Napoleonic ideal, by political Pan- 
Islamism, and by a conviction of the superiority of the German arms, was from the first 
a strong partisan of the German alliance. How far his several colleagues and other 
directing spirits outside the Ministry entered into his views is to some extent a matter 
of speculation ; but it may be taken as certain that the Siiltan, the Heir Apparent, the 
Grand Vizier, Djavid Bey, a majority of the Ministry, and a considerable section of the 
Committee of Union and Progress were opposed to so desperate an adventure as war 
with the allies. At what moment Talaat Bey, the most powerful civilian in the 
Cabinet and the most conspicuous of the Committee leaders, finally threw in his lot 
with the war party cannot be ascertained precisely. His sympathies were undoubtedly 
with them from the beginning, but the part which he actually played in the earlier 
stages is shrouded in mystery. I have reason to think that for some time he may have 
thought it possible, by steering a middle course, to postpone a decision until it was 

[1146] B 2 

clearer what would be the result of the European war ; and he may well have been 
anxious to gain time and to secure in exchange for Turkey's adhesion to the German 
cause something more solid than promises. These were tendered, indeed, on a lavish scale, 
but I am not aware that they were given in a form which could be considered binding. 
It is certain in any case that Talaat Bey's hesitations were overcome, and that he had 
definitely joined the conspiracy to bring about war this autumn some thi-ee weeks before 
the crisis was precipitated. 

Whatever the view? of individual Ministers or others may have been, the 
Turkish Government made no effort to emancipate themselves from German influence 
or to stem the tide of its progress. The material hold established by the introduction 
of the two German ships was on the contrary allowed to be strengthened. Not only 
did these ships remain under effective German control, but a strong German element was 
imported into the remainder of the fleet, even before the British naval mission, which 
had been reduced to impotence by order of the Minister of Marine, had been recalled by 
His Majesty's Government. Large numbers of Germans were imported from Germany 
as unostentatiously as possible, to be employed in the forts of the Dardanelles and 
Bosphorus and at other crucial points. Numerous German merchant vessels, of which 
the most important were the "Corcovado" and the "General," served as bases of 
communication and as auxiliaries to what had become, in effect, a German Black Sea 
Pleet. Secret communications with the German General Staff were established at the 
outbreak of the wax by means of the wireless apparatus of the " Corcovado," which was 
anchored opposite the German Embassy at Therapia, and which was continuously used 
for this among other purposes throughout the whole period under review, in spite of 
my urgent representations and those of my French and Russian colleagues. Other 
German ships played with the Turkish flag as they pleased, in order to facilitate their 
voyages or cloak their real character while in port, and a department was constituted 
at the German Embassy for the purpose of requisitioning supplies for the use of the 
German Government and their ships. All these things were tolerated by a complaisant 
Turkish Government, who appeared to be indifferent to the incessant encroachments on 
their sovereignty if not to welcome them. 

On land, the officers of the German military mission displayed a ubiquitous activity. 
Their supremacy at the Ministry of War, combined with the close co-operation which 
existed between them and the Militarist party, made it easy to fortify an already strong 
position. Acting in conjunction with other less accredited agents of their own 
nationality, they were the main organisers of those military preparations in Syria 
Avhich so directly menaced Egypt, and which became a serious source of preoccupation 
and a constant theme of my remonstrances. 

The evidence of these preparations became daily more convincing. Emissaries 
of Enver Pasha were present on the frontier, bribing and organising the Bedouins. 
Warlike stores were despatched south, and battalions of regular troops were posted at 
Rafah, whilst the Syrian and Mosul army corps were held in readiness to move south at 
short notice. The Syrian towns were full of German officers, who were provided with 
large sums of money for suborning the local chiefs. As an illustration of the 
thoroughness of trie German preparations, I was credibly informed that orders were 
given to obtain estimates for the making of Indian military costmnes at Aleppo in 
order to simulate the appearance of British Indian troops. Under directions from the 
Central Government the civil authorities of the Syrian coast towns removed all their 
archives and ready money to the interior, and Moslem families were warned to leave 
to avoid the consequences of bombardment by the British fleet. The Khedive himself 
was a party to the conspiracy, and arrangements were actually made with the German 
Embassy for his presence with a military expedition across the frontier. 

However difficult it would have been for the Ottoman Government to regain their 
control over the armed forces of the State after the arrival of the "Goeben" and 
" Breslau," the insidious campaign carried on with their encouragement by means of the 
press, the preachers in the mosques, and the pamphleteers, is evidence that its most 
powerful members were in sympathy with the anti-British movement. I had, indeed, 
actual proof of the inspiration by Talaat Bey and Djemal Pasha of articles directed 
against Great Britain. Every agency which could be used to stimulate public opinion 
in favour of Germany and to inflame it against the allies was set at work with the 
connivance, and often with the co-operation, of the Turkish authorities. All the Turkish 
newspapers in Constantinople became German organs ; thej? glorified every real or 
imaginary success of Germany or Austria ; they minimised everything favourable to the 

The enclosures in an earlier despatch wiU have shown to what depths of scurrility 


some of the more corrupt and unbridled of them descended in their onslaughts on Great 
Britain, and how unequally the censors of the press held the balance when exercising 
their practically unlimited powers. The provincial papers were no less enthusiastically 
pro-German ; the semi-official telegraphic agency, which is practically woriied by the 
Ministry of the Interior, was placed at the disposal of German propaganda. Through 
these agencies unlimited use was made of Turkey's one concrete and substantial 
grievance against Great Britain as distinguished from other European Powers, that is, 
the detention of the " Sultan Osman " and the " Reshadie " at the beginning of the 
European war. Other grievances, older and less substantial, were raked out of the 
past ; and the indictment of Great Britain and her allies was completed by a series of 
inventions and distortions of the truth designed to represent them as the enemy, not 
merely of Turkey, but of the whole of Islam. Attacks of the latter kind became 
especially frequent in the latter half of October, and were undoubtedly directly inspired 
by Germany. My urgent representations to the Grand Vizier and to Talaat Bey, both 
verbal and written, had hardly even a temporary effect in checking this campaign. 

It may seem strange that, thus equipped and thus abetted, those who sought to 
involve Turkey in the European war failed so long to achieve their object. The reasons 
were manifold. As I have already indicated, the party which stood for neutrality 
contained men who, lacking though they were in any material means of enforcing their 
views, could not easily be ignored. By whatever various routes they may have been 
arrived at, the ideas of these men coincided with a body of less sophisticated and hardly 
articulate opinion which, however wounded by England's action in preventing delivery 
of the " Sultan Osman " and the " Reshadie," could still not reconcile itself to a war 
with England and France. In my despatch of the 22nd September I had the honour 
to report how frankly and how emphatically the Sultan himself voiced this feeling in 
conversation with me. There can be little doubt that the Grand Vizier exercised what 
influence he had in favour of neutrality. Djavid Bey, the Minister of Finance, whose 
influence in favour of neutrality was of weight as representing the Jewish element, and 
whose arguments in favour of peace were supported by the fact that Turkey was already 
absolutely bankrupt, and not in a position to embark upon war with the allies, became 
towards the end so formidable an obstacle to the fulfilment of the German plan that 
instructions were sent from Berlin to force his resignation. . 

Again, seriously convinced as most prominent Turks appear to have been of the 
ultimate success of Germany, their confidence could not but be a little dashed by the 
■&ctual course of events in the two main theatres of war ; and the more thoughtful 
realised that even in the event of Germany being victorious, the fact of Turkey having 
fought by her side would not necessarily ensure any advantage to the Ottoman Empire. 
As for the Germans themselves, it was true, as I have said, that they could at any 
moment force Turkey to march with them, but to do so before every means of suasion 
had proved useless would obviously not have been politic. It was clearly only in the 
last resort that the Monarch whom Pan-Islamic pro-Germans acclaimed as the hope 
of Islam, and whom the devout in some places had been taught to regard as hardly 
distinguishable from a true believer, would run the risk of scandalising the Moslem 
world, whom he hoped to set ablaze to the undoing of England, Russia, and France, 
by using the guns of the " Goeben " to force the hands of the Sultan-Caliph. But the 
factor which more than any other delayed the realisation of the German plans, and 
which enabled me and my French and Russian colleagues to protract the crisis until 
they could only be realised in such a way as to open the eyes of the Moslem world to 
the real nature of the conspiracy, was the inherent tendency of Turkish statesmen to 
procrastinate, in the hope that by playing off one side against the other they might 
gain more in the long run. 

However slender the chances in our favour, it was obviously my duty, in 
conjunction with my French and Russian colleagues, to support and encourage by all 
possible means those forces which were obscurely striving for the preservation of peace. 

If this policy necessarily involved the acceptance of acts on the part of the Ottoman 
Government which, in ordinary circumstances, would have called for more than 
remonstrance and the reservation of our rights, and which it would have been easy 
to make the occasion of a rupture of relations, the patience displayed by the allies was 
justified by the results achieved. 

Although unsuccessful in averting war, two objects of main importance were 
gained by delaying its commencement. On the one hand, the allied Powers are now 
in a position to deal with the problem with a freer hand, and, on the other, German}^ 
has been forced to show her cards and to act independently of a majority of the Turkish 


B 3 

Under the stress of events in the main theatre of the war, and owing to the vital 
necessity of providing a diversion in the Near East, Germany was constrained to 
intensify still further their pressure on the Turks. During the first three weelis of 
October their pressure took yet another form, and a new weight was cast into the 
scale by the importation into Constantinople, with every circumstance of secrecy, of 
large quantities of bullion consigned to the German Ambassador and delivered under 
military guard at the Deutsche Bank. The total amount was estimated at some 
4,000,000L This sum was far more than was necessary for the maintenance of the 
German military and naval establishments, and I have every reason to believe that a 
definite arrangement was arrived at between the Germans and a group of Ministers, 
including Enver Pasha, Talaat Bey, and Djemal Pasha, that Turkey should declare 
war as soon as the financial provision should have attained a stated figure. My 
information establishes the fact that a climax was reached about the middle of the third 
week in October, when it had been decided to confront the Grand Vizier with the 
alternative of complicity or resignation, and that only the Russian successes on the 
Vistula, or some other more obscure cause, prevented this plan from being carried out. 

Whatever the exact history of the first three weeks of October, it is certain that 
on or about the 26th of that month the German conspirators realised that the pace 
must be forced by still more drastic measures than they had yet used, and that any 
further attempts to win over the Grand Vizier and the Tiu'kish Government as a whole 
to their ideas and to induce them to declare war would be useless. On that afternoon 
an important meeting of Committee leaders was held, at which Enver Pasha was 
present, but which only decided to send Halil Bey, the President of the Chamber, on a 
mission to Berlin. In the circles in which this decision became known it was regarded 
as a partial triumph for the Peace party, and as a fresh Jittempt to gain time for the 
sake either of mere procrastination or of securing more concrete ofiers from Germany. 
Be that as it may, Halil Bey never left on his mission, and it is believed that its 
abandonment was due to a more than usually blunt hint from the German repre- 
sentative in Constantinople. Whilst Constantinople generally was comforting itself 
with the reflection that nothing could well happen until after the foiu' days' Bairam 
festival, beginning on the 30th October, two events of capital importance occurred. 

On the morning of the 29th I received intelligence from Egypt of the incursion into 
the Sinai peninsula of an armed body of 2,000 Bedouins, who had occupied the wells 
of Magdaba, and whose objective was an attack upon the Suez Canal. On learning this 
news I at once proceeded to the Yali of the Grand Vizier, to acquaint him of the 
serious consequences which must ensue if the expedition were not at once recalled. 
His Highness received the intelligence with every appearance of surprise. He emphati- 
cally disclaimed all knowledge of it, and gave me the most solemn assurance that if the 
facts were as stated he would at once issue orders for the withdrawal of the invading 
party. He assured me once more that nothing was further from the intention of the 
Government than war with Great Britain. It was unthinkable, he said, that an 
expedition of this kind could have been organised by any member of the Government ; 
and he felt certain that if anything of the kind had occurred, it could only have been 
a raid by irresponsible Bedouins. I told his Highness that I feared that he deceived him- 
self. I reminded him of the various occasions on which he had given me similar assurances, 
and of the negative results of the instructions which he had given on previous 
occasions. I warned him of the disastrous consequences to the Ottoman Empire of a 
crisis which could not now be long postponed unless he and the friends of peace were 
prepared to take some serious stand against the conspiracy of which I was fully cognisant, 
to involve it irretrievably in the general war. On this, as on every occasion of my 
inverviews with the Grand Vizier, I was impressed with his inability to realise the facts 
or to disabuse himself of the conviction, in spite of his many unfortunate experiences, 
that he would be able, in a really serious crisis, to exert his authority with efiect. 

The second event of capital importance was the attack on Odessa and other 
Russian ports in the Black Sea on the morning of the same day, the 29th October. It is 
now certain that the actual orders for these attacks were given by the German 
admiral on the evening of the 27th October, but it was not until after they had 
actually taken place, that is, on the afternoon of the 29th October, when news of the 
raid on Odessa was telegraphed to me direct by Mr. Consul- General Roberts, that my 
Russian and French colleagues and myself realised that the die had actually been cast 
and the crisis that we had so long feared and striven to avert had occurred. Imme- 
diately on receiving the news M. Bompard and I called on M. de Giers and decided to 
ask for authority from our respective Governments to confront the Porte with the 
alternative of rupture or dismissal of the German naval and military missions. On the 

of the after- 

witli that of 

of a painful 

disclaiming all 

morning of the 30th, however, I learnt from my Russian colleague that he had received 
instructions from his Government immediately to ask for his passports. He had 
written to the Grand Vizier to ask for an interview, which his Highness had begged 
him to postpone until the following day owing to indisposition. The instructions of my 
Russian colleague being in a categorical form, he had therefore been constrained to 
address a note to the Grand Vizier demanding his passports ; and I and my French 
colleague, acting on the instructions with which the Ambassadors of the allied 
Powers had at my suggestion already been furnished to leave Constantinople 
simultaneously, should any one of them be compelled to ask for his passports, 
owing either to a Turkish declaration of war or to some intolerable act of hostility, 
decided without further delay to write to the Grand Vizier and ask in our turn 
for interviews to enable us to carry out these instructions. In view of his 
Highness's indisposition we had not expected to be received that day, but a few 
hours later the Grand Vizier sent us word that he would, nevertheless, be glad to 
see us, and notwithstanding the excuse which he had made earlier in the 
day he received the Russian Ambassador also in the course 
noon. My interview with the Grand Vizier partly coincided 
M. de Giers, and preceded that of M. Bompard. It was 
description. His Highness convinced me of his sincerity in 
knowledge of or participation in the events which had led to the rupture, and entreated 
me to believe that the situation was even now not irretrievable. I replied that the time 
had passed for assurances. The crisis which I had predicted to his Highness at almost 
every interview which I had had with him since my return had actually occurred, and 
unless some adequate satisfaction were immediately given by the dismissal of the 
German missions, which could alone prevent the recurrence of attempts upon Egyptian 
territory and attacks on Russia, war with the allies was inevitable. My Russian 
colleague had already demanded his passports, and I must, in pursuance of the 
instructions I had received, follow the same course. The Grand Vizier again protested 
that even now he could undo what the War party had done without his knowledge or 
consent. In reply to the doubt which I expressed as to the means at his disposal, he 
said that he had on his side moral forces which could not but triumph, and that he 
meant to fight on to the end. He did not, indeed, hint at a possibility of immediately 
dismissing the German mission, but he infbi-med me that there was to be a meeting of 
the Council at his house that evening, when he would call upon his colleagues to 
support him in his determination to avert war with the allied Powers. 

The Council was duly held, and, as he had predicted, the majority of the Ministers 
supported the Grand Vizier, who made a strong appeal in favour of peace, and was 
seconded by Djavid Bey. But the powerlessness of the Sultan's Ministers to do more than 
vote in the Council Chamber was evident. The question of dismissing the German naval 
officers was discussed, but no decision to do so was taken, and no Minister ventured 
even to propose the expulsion of the military mission. In the interval the War party 
had sealed their resolution to go forward, by publishing a communique in which it was 
stated that the first acts of hostility in the Black Sea had come from the Russian side. 
Untrue and grotesque as it was, this invention succeeded in deceiving many of the public. 

It is not possible to establish by proof which of the Ministers had pre-knowledge 
of the German admiral's coup, but it may be regarded as-eertain that Enver Pasha was 
aware of it, and highly probable that Talaat Bey was also an accomplice. 

The story of a Russian provocation was plainly an afterthought, and if the 
official report of the Russian Government were not sufficient to disprove it, I could 
produce independent evidence to show that the orders to begin hostilities were given 
at the mouth of the Bosphorus on the evening of the 27th October, as the result of a 
conspiracy hatched between the German representatives in Constantinople and a small 
and unscrupulous Turkish faction. 

My Russian colleague left Constantinople without incident on the evening of the 
31st October. My own departure was eventually arranged for the following evening, 
when I left for Dedeagatch, accompanied by my staff of sixty officials and their families, 
the British advisers in the service of the Turkish Government and some other Britisli 
subjects also travelled with me. My French colleague and his staff left by the same 

Owing to the wanton refusal of the military authorities at the last moment to 
allow the departure of a great number of British and French subjects who were to have 
left by an earlier train than that which had been placed at my disposal, the station was 
for some hours the scene of indescribable confusion and turmoil. 

My protests and those of the French Ambassador were disregarded, and after 

protracted discussion, we agreed to leave matters in the hands of the United States 
Ambassador, who undertook to use all his influence to procure the departure of our 
fellow subjects on the following day. The "sous-chef de protocole" of the Sublime 
Porte and tlie " chef de cabinet particulier " of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were sent 
to bid farewell to M. Bompard and mj'self at the railway station, and two Secretaries 
of the Political Department of the Ministry accompanied us to the frontier. 

It would be impossible to exaggerate the assistance which I have received from 
Mr. Morgenthau, the United States Ambassador. During the last two days 
especially the difficulties arising out of the abnormality of the situation would have 
been immeasurably greater had it not been for his invaluable help and his untiring 
efforts on behalf of myself and my staff. We are heavily indebted not only to 
Mr. Morgenthau himself, but to every member of the United States Embassy, it is 
entirely owing to their exertions that the British and French subjects who were 
detained at the station on the night of my departure were allowed to leave on the 
following evening. 

Before concluding this despatch I desire also to place on record my sense of the 
cheerful courage displayed by the British community in Constantinople, as well as in 
other towns, during the whole of this trying period. A large proportion of them have 
suffered severely in their business from the instability of the situation in Turkey. 
Many have suffered heavily and more directly by the military requisitions which from 
the beginning of August were carried out in an inconceivably arbitrary manner. By 
the suppression of the Capitulations all saw themselves deprived at a moment's 
notice of the secular privileges which had hitherto secured the persons and the property 
of foreigners against caprice and injustice. But they have one and all faced these 
adversities with a reasonable and manly fortitude. 

Shortly after my return to my post, I recommended those British subjects who 
applied to me for advice to send home, when opportunity offered, those members of 
their families who had no particulai' reason to stay in the country. 

A certain number left during the autumn, and many have left since. Those who 
have chosen to stay, or who have not been in a position to leave, remain under the 
protection of the United States Ambassador. As regards the British community at 
Bagdad, I instructed the acting British consul-general at Bagdad, early in October, 
to charter a steamer for the conveyance to the coast of any British subjects who might 
wish to leave. A large number of British and British-Indian subjects availed themselves 
of this opportunity. 

I cannot conclude this report without calling your attention to the zeal shown by 
the junior members of my staff, including Mr. Ovey, Lord Gei'ald Wellesley, Mr. Charles 
Lister, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Wilson, Mr.Astell, and by Mr. Fuller, Archivist to His Majesty's 
Embassy, in the performance of their duties in the Chancery, as well as to the able and 
conscientious work of the members of the Dragomanate and consulate-general. 

The Chancery was greatly assisted by the voluntary help kindly offered to them by 
Judge Cator, the Rev. Canon Whitehouse, Chaplain to His Majesty's Embassy, 
and by Dr. Clemow, Physician to His Majesty's Embassy, as well as by Mr. Weakley, 
Commercial Attache. 

I need not do more than refer to the work of Lieutenant-Colonel Cunliffe Owen, 
Military Attache to His Majesty's Embassy, whose information respecting the military 
preparations was often obtained with considerable difficulty. 

I should like to place on record my high appreciation of the conduct of His 
Majesty's consular officers throughout the Ottoman Empire during the whole period of 
the crisis. They one and all performed their often difficult duties with zeal and 
discretion. I was especially indebted to Mr. Cumberbatch, His Majesty's consul- 
general at Beirut, Mr. Heathcote Smith, acting British consul-general at Smyrna, and 
to Mr. Palmer, vice-consul at the Dardanelles, for the valuable information which they 

I would wish to bring to your particular notice the services rendered by Mr. Ryan, 
Acting First Dragoman of His Majesty's Embassy. His ability, knowledge of Turkey, 
sound judgment and untiring industry, were of invaluable assistance to me, and are 
deserving of your special commendation. 

I have, &c. 


No. 2. 

Sir Edward Grey to Sir L. Mallet. 

Sir, Foreign Office, December 4, 1914. 

I HAVE received your Excellency's despatch of the 20th ultimo, in which you 
summarise the events since your return to your post on the 16th August last until 
your departui'e on the 1st November. 

I have read with great appreciation and pleasure of the invaluable assistance 
rendered to your Excellency in the difficult cu'cumstances of your departure by the 
United States Ambassador and every member of the United States Embassy, and 1 
have already requested the United States Government to convey to Mr. Morgenthau 
the most sincere thanks of His Majesty's Government for the valuable services rendered 
by his Excellency on that occasion, and subsequently in helping the British community 
to leave Constantinople. 

I have also been much gratified to receive your Excellency's testimony of the 
cheerful courage of the British community in Turkey under exceptionally trying 
circumstances, and I have noted with great satisfaction your Excellency's appreciation 
of the valuable services of the embassy and consulate stafi", and of the members of 
His Majesty's consular service throughout the Ottoman Empire. 

I desire also to convey to your Excellency my high sense of the marked ability, 
patience, and discretion shown by your Excellency in carrying out, in the face of great 
difficulties, the policy of His Majesty's Government. War was eventually forced by 
wanton and unprovoked hostilities of the Turkish fleet under German inspiration and 
orders, but it was the desire of His Majesty's Government to avciid a rupture with 
Turkey ; and your Excellency rightly directed all your efforts to encourage those 
influences at Constantinople that were moderate and reasonable. To your efforts it 
was at any rate in some degree due that the inevitable catastrophe did not occur 


am, &c 


MISCELLANEOUS. No. 14 (1914). 

Despatch from His Majesty's Ainbassadur at 
Constantinople summarising Events leading up 
to Rupture of Relations with Turkey, and 
Eeply thereto. 

[In continnation of " Miscellaneous, No. 13 
(1914)": Cd. 7628.] 

Presented to both Houses of rarliamcnt by Command 
of llis Majesty, December 1914. 

LoKdon :